Tuesday, May 06, 2014

What do you think?

 photo: Knitscene/Harper Point

Hi, Knitters,
Last fall I went to Cleveland to film a segment for Knitting Daily TV with Vickie Howell, which is produced by the good people of Interweave. While hosting the show Vickie wore all kinds of knits from the pages of Interweave Knits Magazine. When I was in the studio she wore the sweater in the photo above, called Emmanuelle. I remembered seeing this sweater in Knitscene when I got my issue and I remembered liking it. However, when I saw the sweater in person and on Vickie I fell in love with it. 


This sweater is knit in Nature Spun Worsted Weight and is knit flat in pieces with intarsia color work on the front. I think the key to this sweater is to make it roomy and loose fitting. It is supposed to have 4-6 inches of positive ease. The model is a 33-inch bust and it is knit in the 38-inch size. The same version Vickie wore was very roomy on her.

When I looked at the finished Emmanuelle projects on Ravelry it seems that many have knit this as a fitted sweater. When it is closely fitted I feel like the color work arrows going down the front look a little bit like..... a necktie? When it is loose fitting and roomy, as intended, it simply is stunning. I love the 3/4 length sleeves, too.

Anyway, I ordered the yarn in the same colors as the sample and in the Nature Sport Worsted. I really like this yarn a lot. I had every intention of knitting this sweater in the summer months ahead.

But then this happened....

photo: Juju Vail

I saw Solja.

I keep hearing about this new knitting magazine, Pom Pom Quarterly.  I decided to check it out for myself and I am glad I did. It is a digital and print magazine based in London. You must check it out if you are interested. The designs are beautiful and the magazine is so well done, great photography with whimsy, articles, talented designers, wearable knits, and more. It's super fun.

When I received my issue of Pom Pom, I fell in love with the sweater above, called Solja. I love it so much.

Click here to find out more about Solja by Anna Maltz.

Solja is an interesting combination of old and new. Solja combines the age-old bottom up color work yoked pullover, Elizabeth Zimmermann style, with added all over lace and corrugated rib. This combination makes the sweater feel different and fresh. Plus the yoke color work is so light-hearted and whimsical. I haven't seen a combination like this before and I think it is just so much fun. This sweater is knit in the round from bottom to top, sleeves are knit separately and joined in and then the yoke is completed. I love color work stranded knitting, it is one of my favorite techniques.

I am feeling like my Emmanuelle dreams might become a Solja instead.


It just so happens that the amount of yarn and the colors for Emmanuelle will work perfectly to make a version of Solja. If I make Solja I will throw in a creamy off-white hank of Cascade 220 I happen to have sitting around. It is funny, both call for a main color and 6 contrast colors.

Basically, my question to all of you is which one would you make? Should I stick to my intended plans to knit Emmanuelle or should I dive into Solja? I still like both of the sweaters very much.

I'd love to hear your opinions!!


Ending with another change of yarn plans, quite a long time ago I purchased some Shelter yarn in the Button Jar color way to knit up a Levenwick by Gudrun Johnston. I had every intention of knitting a Levenwick, I even purchased the pattern and have buttons for it. I really enjoy Gudrun's work. She has a simple, wearable style that I gravitate toward in knitting. A lot of Gudrun's work is clean and simple but there is often some sort of single design point of interest. That makes the knitting fun and fast.

However, every time I went to start the Levenwick I hesitated. It is an asymmetrical cardigan and cleverly designed in a simple way with a touch of easy lace on the button band. Something about it makes me pause. Would I wear it? Would it be flattering on me? I am not much of an asymmetrical clothing person and I started doubting the project. 

I put the Levenwick on hold and started casually looking around for something else to knit with the beautiful Shelter yarn. 

Then I came across Carrie Bostick Hoge's recent cardigan pattern release called Maude. I think I put it in my Ravelry queue for later but I kept thinking about the pattern. Last week I looked at it again and realized that the Shelter would work perfectly for Maude. I immediately jumped right in. It just struck me as the perfect combination.



Here is the start of the body. Maude is a very slouchy grandpa-style deep v-neck cardigan. The sample in Carrie's photo is knit with about 6-inches of positive ease. I am knitting the size 40-inch bust which will have about 4-5 inches of positive ease on me. I think that it will be perfect. I will keep you posted on my progress. It is working up really fast so far. 

Carrie is another designer who knits simple, casual sweaters and cardigans. I pretty much love everything she designs. She hits the nail on the head every time for the type of garments I want to wear in my everyday life. Comfortable, casual, wearable and fun to knit are key elements for Carrie's work. Her baby designs are wonderful, too.


I love the Shelter yarn, vegetable matter and all, and this color is gorgeous. I will use the buttons I purchased for the Levenwick on Maude. They are really cool wooden buttons that I will share with you later. I have missed my sweater knitting as of late and I want to get back into it for the summer months ahead. For some reason I love knitting sweaters in the summer which is perfect because when the fall and winter seasons roll around I am all set with a new handknit sweater or two.

By the way, I think I still may knit the Levenwick. Now that I am looking at it again I really do love this design. We'll see what happens. For now, it's all about Maude!

What yarn do you have that was intended for one pattern and became another? We all do it. It's part of the fun of knitting.

I'll be back soon with more. I hope you all are having a good week so far. Let me know what you think about Emmanuelle and Solja.
best, susie
p.s. Hey! The Fall Fling announcement just came out! I am teaching along with Ann Budd, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and Marly Bird! I'm so excited about this. Sign up quick, it sells out fast. Click here for the information on The Loopy Ewe.

57 comments:

Viki said...

I'd vote for Emanuelle. It's so modern and funky. I'm sure either would look lovely on you.

Hot Pink Socks said...

Great choices!!! I am a simple girl my self and if I had to choose for my wardrobe I would go with the 'Emmanuelle'. I like the look and the loose fitting style. Hope to see you knitting on it soon!!

Stephanie~
Ravelry~HotPinkSocks

Kepanie said...

Sorry if you get a repeat. Logging into Google went a bit wonky. I say go for Soulja. I chose that because I'm not an intarsia fan. The greenish blue color way for your Maude is lovely.

Barbara H said...

I vote for Solja.

Angie said...

Wow, they are both great! I would choose Emmanuel for myself, but. It would be a hard choice. I may just have to make both of these for me I the future, though!

Jules said...

I vote for Solja. Lately I have been decluttering and thinking of selling my yarn. Every time I open my yarn bins, I remember what I had intended to make with each one. Most of it is used for something else other than what it was intended for. Yes, I am guilty too. :) RAVID: Tanknit

Bonney said...

I think I'd choose Solja as it's a more classic look. I think it will have more staying power.

Anne said...

I think Emmanuelle looks more like "you."

martha bilski said...

I like the Emmuelle. I like the neck and the sleeve length. The chevron gives it a different focus and a splash of color to enliven the otherwise simple design.
I am a larger size and the grampa style tends to be overwhelming and unatractive on me.

Renee W said...

I just bought yarn for Soulja, so I am voting for you to make that. I buy yarn all the time that is intended for one thing, then used for something else. My daughter is a knitter so often she dives into my sweater stash yarn for her knitting projects so I end up with a lot of 2 or 3 skeins of certain yarns. All good though since it is so fun having someone to share this amazing craft with!!!

Nika said...

Another vote for Solja! I have not heard of Pom Pom Quarterly before and now this sweater is in my queue :D The sweater is something I have never seen before!

frances said...

Emmanuelle has my vote! It's in my queue and there's something about the shoulders of Solja that I just don't like. I'm sure you could modify it, it's just not my favourite.

Beth Aalberts said...

I say knit them all!

Elaine said...

Solja it is. So refreshing and new-looking. Must check out the PomPom Quarterly. Thanks for sharing once again!

Hind DP said...

I vote for Sonja 'cause it's adorable. I think it'll look great in those colors.

deborah said...

Hi Susan, I would do the Solja it's lovely!!
Debbie

Johnston4kids said...

Solja,I think it will get more use.

Jennifer said...

I love Emanuelle. It's very relaxed looking and yet elegant - for me the yoke on the other one is just too rounded. She looks like she has hunched shoulders and I think it's just the effect of the yoke ...... and I love Maude - I have some Loft that I've been working on another Boxy by Joji and I found Auden by Bristol Ivy and I want to do that instead .......... a lovely Sweatshirt sweater!!!! I am so inspired by you - thanks

Suze said...

I like that first one much more.
Also I want to knit the Maude cardigan! Sure would have been nice to wear in Madison this cold spring.

Gigi said...

Oh Solja definitely! I love everything from Juju Vail & Pom Pom Quarterly. And the Maude is looking lovely -- gorgeous color -- BT's yarn colors are all perfection, aren't they?
Blessings,
G
Oh, and I'll have you know, you're a bad influence -- I've been buying up Opal sock yarn all over the place ^v^. Loving the Van Gogh colorways for my Christmas Stocking Stuffer Stash Socks.

sewmuchfun4 said...

I vote for Emmanuelle. I like the three-quarter length sleeves and the slight V of the neck above the chevron. It would look great on you and I think it would make a nice summer knit - not so complicated it doesn't fit in with summer plans. The Solja seems like a better winter knit to me.

Ann

Amber said...

I think I like Solja best, but you'll look cute in either!

Natasha said...

Solja is lovely and has my vote, it feels like a sweater that you can wear and love for many years while the chevrons are nice they are a trend element to me.

figureskatingislife said...

Emmanuelle!

figureskatingislife said...

Emmanuelle!

mariaeb on Ravelry said...

My vote is for Solja! When I saw this sweater in Pom Pom it took my breath away! Others have mentioned. "Timeless" and I agree. I can picture you podcasting in this beautiful garment and wearing it often. I believe as knitters we LOVE so many designs and get excited easily, not only by the plethora of gorgeous designs but the amazing yarns we would love to try, but oh, how time flies! I need to learn to knit in the little sleep I get!

Anonymous said...

I like the sweatshirt-type feel of the Emmanuel but the Solja does have your name written all over it. Heck, knit both -- you are a speedy knitter! I love Waterlilly and Confetti from PomPom but while wonderful, the magazine sure is pricey for us here in the U.S.
Two of my friends Sarimor and fascine on Rav knit Levin... fascine made some mods you might be interested in. Carol

Anonymous said...

I'd say Solja for you.
Lee (mamagiff)

Sara Flickinger said...

I feel like the Soulja lace pattern makes it too busy. I love the top pattern though. So I vote for Emmanuelle. I actually just added that one to my queue today too :)

Tara V said...

They are both beautiful and I can see why you're struggling. I would go with Emmanuelle like you planned in the beginning and when you're finished I would go for Soulja. That way you get the best of both worlds. You're AWESOME!

KC Heller said...

I vote for Emmanuelle! Then I vote for you to come back to the Twin Cities to teach another class! :)

Ana said...

I say...make the Emanuelle. It's so trendy (and I can see your girls borrowing it!) Then make the Solja, but with the lighter spring colors it is modeled in. And I agree about the 'blousey' arms and shoulders on the model...hmmm. I'm sure you could remedy that in the decreasing portion....

folksmith said...

Emanuelle!

sandy w said...

Emmanuelle

Wendy Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy Smith said...

I can see you in both of these sweaters, they are both beautiful, though they are very different. Emanuelle is modern, which I personally like. While Soulja is traditional.

AnnM said...

The Soija gets my vote! It's adorable and looks like such a fun knit. I just love your posts! I always get such great ideas. Thanks!

AnnM said...

The Soija gets my vote! It's adorable and looks like such a fun knit. I just love your posts! I always get such great ideas. Thanks!

Carol said...

Both are must-knits! First choice for me would be the Solja. There would never be a dull moment; so much fun and a fashion statement. Love original designs like this. Please let us know how the votes tally.

sharonathemom said...

I vote for Emanuelle. I have loved this sweater since I first saw it, but had never done Entarsia. Since I took an Entarsia class at Stitches West, it is back in my que. I would love to see how yours would knit up.

Savannagal said...

Emmanuelle. It's classic.

Anonymous said...

Those are two sweaters that I've been looking at! I am enchanted with the Solja. The Pom Pom quarterly magazine is full of beautiful designs. I keep leafing through again and again and....

KimmyZ said...

Of the three sweater designs, Emmanuelle is the most modern and youthful looking. I can definitely see that on you. It's my favorite of the trio. I agree that it looks better worn loose, although I saw a picture of one full-figured woman who only did a few chevrons down the front, and that looked terrific on her. The Solje is very traditional looking, but the eyelets give a fresh look to it. I think you'd like this better with a tiny bit of waste shaping for your petite figure. The Maude isn't my style, but I can see it as something to snuggle up in around the house - comfy and roomy. It's a classic that you'll probably wear forever. And we know how much you like cardigans.

Now get busy, because I know you're going to knit all three of them!

Hugs, KimmyZ (Rav ID)

stremlec said...

Solja - unique lace with the yolk is beautiful. Even in the slouch style, the color work doesn't do it more me and still looks like a neck tie...

KimmyZ said...

Susie,

I forgot to comment on the Levenwick Cardigan. I just LOVE asymmetrical designs, and I can really see this one on you with your petite figure. It looks best buttoned up or partially buttoned up, so you'll be nice and cozy in that chilly winter climate of yours.

KimmyZ

Pauly Heller said...

I am totally voting for Emmanuelle, Susie ... mostly because my daughter-in-law wears necklaces with that chevron pattern down the front center, and it is so "in" right now. It's just more youthful and hip. Go for it!

Blessings,
Pauly

Sarah said...

My vote is for Emmanuelle. I love it. It may also be that I can't tell if the Solja model is a mannequin or not and it's creeping me out. Haha

Greg said...

Both of the sweaters great, but I think I like Solja better.

Amy Wolf said...

Emmanuelle! Solja looks a bit outdated to me, but maybe with more vibrant colors it would look more updated?

camby said...

I think Emmanuelle. It's just a little different and interesting. Beautiful!

Elizabeth said...

oh, i love solja! it's so much fun!

Marilou Jewett Brown said...

I vote for Emmanuelle. It's unique & interesting. I think you'd look good in the other one as well, but agree with someone else who suggested different colors for you. Knit them both!

Marilou

Heather said...

My vote is for Solja. There is just something about it that appeals to me.

pookie said...

Definitely the emanuelle! Not a big fan of the soulja neckline. the emanuelle has a sporty neckline and it just looks fabulous!!!

knittingdragonflies said...

Your making my head spin, I like them all, and now have added to my queue of things I want to knit!
*grin*
Vicki

thewalshfam said...

I love Emmanuelle with the positive ease. So cute! Can't wait to see what you decide!
Katie

Anonymous said...

Emanuelle